Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake met back in 1993 thanks to The Mickey Mouse Club
Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake are both Oscar nominees this year — Gosling snagged a Best Actor nod for La La Land, while Timberlake is up for Best Original Song for the Trolls hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”
But that’s not the only thing they have in common.
The two first met back in 1993 when they were cast on The Mickey Mouse Club, the beloved, long-running variety show featuring a rotating cast of teenagers that aired on the Disney Channel. In fact, Gosling and Timberlake were part of the club’s last cast of performers alongside superstars Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
Called Mouseketeers, the cast would often perform songs or skits in front of a live studio audience and interact with guests — and the Oscar nominees never stopped singing and dancing. Timberlake, of course, went on to become a member of NSYNC before branching out into a smash Grammy-winning solo career, while Gosling can be seen showing off his vocal and dancing chops in La La Land.
In a vintage clip of the show, below, the two then-teenagers adorably open an episode by chatting with musical guest Xscape — featuring a young Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss! The throwback clip is all ’90s thanks to Timberlake’s baggy overalls and Gosling’s oversized sweater.
Gosling and Timberlake appeared on the last two seasons of the show, where they and their families grew so close that the two stars stayed in the same house at one point. Timberlake revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2011 that his mom even became Gosling’s legal guardian during the last six months of filming after the Canadian actor’s mom had to go back to her job.
“His mother had to keep her job in Canada the second year that we were on the television show,” Timberlake explained. “We were probably a little closer that the rest of the kids that were on the show just because we had to share a bathroom.”
The singer also opened up about the mischief the two teenagers would get into on the Disney set, including the time they snuck away with a golf cart. “We used to do terrible things. We thought we were so cool,” Timberlake recalled. “Looking back on them, they weren’t as bad as I thought they were at the time. We stole a golf cart. And we were like, ‘Yeah, man. We’re stealing a golf cart!’ “
In the clip, Timberlake also calls the Golden Globe best actor winner “one of the greatest actors of our generation.”
Timberlake wasn’t the only NSYNC throwback on The Mickey Mouse Club — his bandmate JC Chasez was also a Mouseketeer. The two can be seen showing off their vocal chops alongside Gosling in a performance of “Cry for You.” Timberlake’s famous falsetto is on full display as Gosling’s scene-stealing vocals and dance moves have the audience screaming.
The stars won’t have to wait too long to find out if they can add “Oscar winner” to their long list of titles — the Academy Awards, with host Jimmy Kimmel, will air live on ABC at 8:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 26.